How to Edit and Improve Essay Content Part 1

Whenever your teacher or professor has required you to edit an essay that you’ve already turned in you usually go back run spellcheck and check for run-on sentences and punctuation problems and then you want to call it a day right.

It’s relatively easy to edit an essay you’ve written when all you could do is check for problems with spelling grammar and punctuation. Having to go back into something you’ve already labored over crack it opens and improve the content in a substantive way can feel pretty brutal after all if you were able to write better content you would have done it in the first place right but don’t feel hopeless with a few basic principles in mind.

You can learn how to go back through an essay you’ve already drafted and make substantive edits that sharpen and improve the content of that essay. Most essays will have one of three basic purposes to inform or describe to persuade or to entertain as you review an essay that you’ve written ask yourself whether your purpose is clear if it’s not then you know there’s a content problem that you need to attend to a fairly common problem that many students run into is discovering that after writing what should have been a persuasive paper they’ve instead written more of an informative or descriptive paper often a writer might lay out data and evidence in favor of a particular position but might fail to actually make arguments in favor of that position. For example, let’s say that you’ve written an essay that argues that the death penalty should be abolished in the US. In one of your body paragraphs you find that you’ve presented some statistics showing that the death penalty doesn’t deter violent crime but after presenting that data you stopped and switch to another point without making an explicit argument as to why those data show that the death penalty should be done away with.

If you ever discover that type of problem when you go back to edit your essay it can be easy to fix identify each instance in which you’ve provided a fact or example in support of your position be sure that you followed up each of those instances with a few persuasive statements arguing that those facts and examples support your main argument or prove your point correct.